Old Audio Publications?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by alan halvorson, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Way back when I used to subscribe to many audio publications. Some are still around but others have bit the dust. My favorites were Audio, The Audio Amateur, Speaker Builder and Audiomart. Audio has ceased publication. What has become of The Audio Amateur and Speaker Builder? I let my subscriptions lapse on these but Borders and Barnes & Noble still carried them for many years after. No longer. I'm guessing they have ceased also, but I am not certain.

    Audiomart (don't confuse this with Stereophile's for sale section) was an ad-only publication that came out roughly every two weeks. The subscription base was rather small (never more than a few thousand) but it was a dedicated and active audience - it was the way to buy and sell audio and audio-related equipment. For the cost of a subscription, you were entitled to place one ad for free per issue. Not as instantaneous as the internet, but in its time, it was way better and cheaper than all alternatives. Can anyone tell me if this is still around?
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Just about all audio-only publications are gone, or have morphed into home theater-related magazines. What used to be called the "underground press" is now slick and advertiser-intensive (TAS, Stereophile). I think I've seen copies of The Sensible Sound at the newsstand. And another one that specializes in tube electronics.
     
  3. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Sensible Sound is still around. I subscribe to that one. Another that may or not still be around is the Audio Critic.

    The current issue (if you can call it that) came out about 1 year ago. They have had some problems with publishing on a repeatable schedule, but it is a great read.

    The current issue actually has a note on the cover for news stand vendors that says "Display until the next issue arrive" or words to that effect. They know that they can't predict with any certainty when the next issue will arrive, but they certainly do not make any bones about it.

    BGL
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Yes, Peter Aczel's The Audio Critic is still with us, technically. He has never been able to publish regularly (Aczel promised "bimonthly" during the magazine's 1977 launch, and managed to put out a maximum of four issues in that first year; he ceased publication in 1980 after trying a newsletter format for two issues; he resumed publication in 1987 and has, at best, put out two or three issues a year since while claiming to be a "quarterly"). I have all issues.
     
  5. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  6. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    The Audio Critic rocks. I urge anyone out there who is interested in another view of the audio/home theater industry to look around for them. They do very excellent equipment reviews. They usually open up electronics components, and make comments on internal construction, parts quality, etc.
     
  7. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    I have subscribed to The Audio Critic since it's beginning - I still have those little two-sheets they tried for a short in an attempt to get their reviews out quicker. Didn't work. My subscription ran out with the last issue and I've hesitated to renew until I know that they really are still in business (I've heard otherwise, but then who knows?). I hope so - it is, and always has been, the best audio review publication (and I'm surprised so many mentioned it).

    I have subscribed to Stereophile, The Absolute Sound and a few others over the years, but consider these to be nothing more than bad joke books. I do, with some reservations, like The Sensible Sound. I've never been a fan of the British publications I've seen - too much in the vein of Stereophile and that ilk, plus most of the equipment reviewed has no relevance to me.

    Mainly, I'd like to know the fate of the three publications I mentioned. I'm guessing they no longer exist, but if they do, I may want to subscribe again.
     
  8. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Well, collectors: How much value would any of you put on the first forty issues of The Abso!ute Sound in absolutely mint condition? (Issue #1 is in a plastic wrap; none of the magazines are exposed to sunlight, so the pages have managed not to turn yellow.)
     
  9. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Well I'll be dipped.....

    There is a new issue of Audio Critic on the newsstand. If you are a subjectivist, it would be best to avoid it!

    Their latest, and unfortunately, last edition of "Hip Boots" pretty much restates their overall position on things, and takes a few writers to task (again!).

    You gotta love these guys...sacred cows are slayed with dispatch!

    BGL
     
  10. Scott Kriefall

    Scott Kriefall Second Unit

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    Speaker builder merged with AudioXPress a few years ago.
     
  11. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I got that latest issue of The Audio Critic as well. It is worth noting that, as far as subjectivism goes, Peter Aczel has done a complete 180 without acknowledging it. During his magazine's first two or three years, his slant was every bit the same as TAS and Stereophile, though better written. But by around the time he first ceased publication and resumed in 1987, Mr. Aczel had begun singing the praises of Julian Hirsch and Stereo Review. As a result, his magazine became truly useful, but Aczel never would admit to his previous ways and would insult those who questioned him on it.

    The inter-title bickering among those publications was tiresome, and it's sad that Aczel continues with it.
     
  12. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  13. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I love the Audio Critic too, but I agree:

     
  14. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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  15. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  16. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Well, if any Los Angeles members are reading this you can find several copies of the current issue of The Audio Critic at The Centerfold, on the corner of Fairfax and Melrose.

    Alan, thanks for the clarification. Seems that I do recall Aczel addressing this change of heart in one of his 1987 issues.

    At any rate, of the few remaining audio-only hobbyist publications, The Audio Critic gets my vote as the one that's truly worth buying and reading. Expect about one to three issues a year.

    Two or three times, Aczel had hoped to secure investors in his publication, the last time being some refugees from Audio magazine when that venerable title folded. All deals fell through, and there are just so many hats Aczel can wear.
     
  17. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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